Match Report - By Steven Mew
City made it 7 consecutive wins in the Highland League with a comfortable victory over Deveronvale at a foggy Glebe Park yesterday afternoon.
Manager Andy Kirk made one change from the side that lost to Darvel on penalties in midweek, with Cammie Ross returning at the expense of Lyall Booth who dropped to the bench.
City came flying out the traps and very nearly took the lead within the opening minute when Julian Wade played Cammie Ross in behind the defence but his strike flashed across the face of goal.
Michael Paton was next to threaten for City with a 25 yard strike pushed away by McIntosh for a corner and shortly after, Max Kucheriavyi jinked past two defenders before forcing the visiting goalkeeper into another save.
City continued to lay siege on the Vale goal and were just a lick of paint away from opening the scoring in the 12th minute. Cammie Ross fired in a low cross for Marc Scott who struck the underside of the bar and the ball was only cleared as far as Murray Mackintosh on the edge of the box but he couldn’t keep his shot down.
On 18 minutes Cammie Ross wriggled free from a defender down the right hand side of the box but his powerful effort flew across the face of goal and may well have shaved the bar on the way.
There was a blow for City after 22 minutes when Marc Scott suffered an injury and had to be replaced by Lyall Booth.
The goal did eventually arrive on 24 minutes and it was well worth the wait. MAX KUCHERIAVYI came inside from the right and unleashed a powerful left footed strike from 25 yards which flew high into the net with the aid of a deflection.
The visitors' defence were struggling to cope with the dazzling footwork of Kucheriavyi who danced his way past several challenges in a packed penalty box before being denied by McIntosh who saved well with his feet.
The advantage was doubled shortly before the interval – Julian Wade got the byline and provided a low cross for MURRAY MACKINTOSH who found the net with an intricate flick at the near post.
On the stroke of half time City very almost grabbed a quickfire third when Lyall Booth met a cross with a volley at the back post but blazed over.
Following a quiet start to the second half, Lyall Booth’s header from a deep cross was cleared off the line by a Vale defender whilst Jamie Bain curled a 20-yard free kick just inches wide of the post.
Kucheriavyi was instrumental in almost everything going forward and he dinked a perfectly weighted ball forward for Mackintosh to bring down but fired into the side netting.
With 67 minutes on the clock, MAX KUCHERIAVYI added to City’s advantage from a free kick 20 yards out. With many expecting a cross into the box, the Ukranian youngster had other ideas as he caught the keeper out with a splendid curling effort which flew in at the near post.
Having been on the park just two minutes after replacing the impressive Michael Paton, JACK MILNE got in on the act as he converted from a Kucheriavyi corner despite the best efforts of a Vale defender on the line.
Such was City’s dominance, Deveronvale’s first and only shot on goal arrived after 77 minutes when Robbie Allan tried his luck from range but Wills got down well to save.
City continued to look for more goals late on with substitute David Cox heading against the outside of the post from Kucheriavyi’s corner. Kucheriavyi, who was later named as man of the match, was clearly keen to grab his first professional hat-trick and came close five minutes from time when his strike was parried by McIntosh, who gathered at the second attempt.
Overall, a good day at the office for City with the sides around them in the table out of action due to the frost whilst fellow challengers Rothes, who City travel to face next a week on Monday, suffered a surprise defeat against Nairn County.